Category: Clean Energy

FERC: Montana PSC rules improperly hindering independent, renewable power projects – Lee State Bureau, March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014
By Mike Dennison HELENA — In a strongly worded ruling, a federal commission Thursday said Montana Public Service Commission rules are improperly hindering small, renewable-power projects in the state. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the PSC rules create an “unreasonable obstacle” for the projects to get contracts to sell their power to utilities, as well as go against a federal law meant to encourage development of the independently owned projects. The unanimous FERC ruling was not an...
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Guest opinion: Taxpayers lose, mining firms gain under flawed coal leasing – Billings Gazette, March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014
By Walter Archer Two recent congressional investigations point to the loss of millions of dollars to the public due to flaws in the way the Bureau of Land Management manages federal coal, including large holdings in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. As a lifelong resident of the region, this matters to me for multiple reasons, including the fact that local and state governments are short-changed when the BLM gives away public coal at below market value....
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Grain trains delayed by weather, construction, oil – Billings Gazette, March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014
By Tom Lutey Montana farmers are struggling to get their wheat to Pacific ports, as weather, construction and traffic take a toll on grain trains. Wheat has been slow to move to the Pacific Northwest for several months and there is now talk of the 2013 crop still being shipped when this year’s harvest begins in late July. That’s not good news for Montana’s wheat economy, which has had annual sales exceeding $1 billion for five of the...
Categories: AgricultureCoalFossil FuelsNewsNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil and gas


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Train traffic increases – KULR-TV, March 11, 2014

March 12, 2014
INCLUDES VIDEO By MacLeod Hageman BILLINGS - The amount of train traffic in Billings is expected to more than double, and railroad companies are not legally obligated to improve the congestion. You're either one of the lucky ones, your you get caught waiting for the train to pass. We've all been there, and according to Transportation and Marketing Consultant, Terry Whiteside, the nearly 25 trains that now pass through Billings will likely double within the decade, that's due...
Categories: AgricultureCoalFossil FuelsNews


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Oil trains, cold snap put Plains state farmers in a bind – Stateline, March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014
By Daniel C. Vock The North Dakota oil boom is creating major headaches for the region’s farmers, as both the oil and grain industries put huge strains on rail service on the Great Plains. The energy and agricultural industries both set production records last year, driving up demand for freight trains at the same time the region’s main railroad was rehabilitating its tracks and Mother Nature snarled service with a ferocious winter. The area’s farmers and grain elevator...
Categories: AgricultureCoalNews


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Grainspotting: Farmers get desperate as coal and oil take over the rails – Grist, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014
By Eve Andrews Grist March 10, 2014 The U.S. agriculture and energy sectors might be facing a Jets and Sharks situation: Our railroad system just ain’t big enough for the two of them! Unfortunately, this scenario is unlikely to involve a highly choreographed mambo dance-off, not that we wouldn’t love to see Rex Tillerson’s moves. He’d make a great Bernardo. American farmers are becoming concerned that coal and oil companies’ increased use of railroad shipping will crowd out...
Categories: AgricultureCoalNews


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Jobs in the oil patch: a realistic look – High Country News, Feb. 28, 2014

March 3, 2014
By Theo Colborn On television, radio and billboards in the West, the energy industry sells the notion that natural gas production provides badly needed jobs. The ads feature stunningly clean landscapes, sound almost euphoric and are designed to make us feel good. The contrast between the feel-good nature of the ads and the reality of many of the jobs they tout is also stunning. There are jobs available, yes, but most of the workers in the gas fields are...
Categories: NewsOil and gas


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Oil company’s new Montana neighbors worry about past lawsuits, violations – Billings Gazette, Feb. 28, 2014

February 28, 2014
By Tom Lutey Energy Corp. of America, the West Virginia-based oil-and-gas company that’s promised to bring the Bakken to the Beartooth front, has an environmental record that concerns area landowners. In Pennsylvania, ECA has been fined more than $90,000 for violations ranging from fouling a trout run to discharging hazardous waste and not meeting administrative requirements. The corporation has also faced two lawsuits, one from property owners for breach of contract and a class action suit filed by mineral rights...
Categories: AgricultureBeartooth Front Defense FundClean WaterNewsOil and gas


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State board approves Belfry oil well project – KTVQ TV, Feb. 27, 2014

February 27, 2014
By Victoria Fregoso BILLINGS - On a seven-to-one vote by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, an oil company can move forward with plans to sink an oil well near Belfry. The vote was made on Thursday morning after testimony from a group of Belfry landowners and representatives with a local resource council. "They failed their job," said Deb Muth, chair of the Carbon County Resource Council. "They failed to listen and once again they stood...
Categories: AgricultureLandowner RightsNewsNorthern Plains Resource CouncilOil and gas


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NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154
info@northernplains.org